How to Watermark Photos {without Photoshop}

I don't even know where to begin with the importance of having a watermark on your photos. Whether they are photos of a project tutorial, or family photos you share on your family blog, you need to protect your images!! Especially now with Pinterest being all the rage - your images are shared within minutes.

Your watermark can be as "fancy" as being a professional logo, or as simple as basic text with your name on it. Either way, take a few minutes and protect your work!! I've been the victim of plagiarism myself, and it's frustrating to have someone claim your work as theirs with no credit to you whatsoever. House of Hepworths wrote a fantastic post about this topic.

See what I mean? IMPORTANT!! So, if you currently aren't watermarking your photos - start now! 

Lucky for me, I'm a graphic designer. So adding watermarks to my images is not a problem with the help of Photoshop. I realize not everyone is so lucky, so I have put together and easy way to create and add a watermark to your photos. I promise it is simple and will be worth it in the long run!!


Creating a Watermark
We will be creating a logo out of text that you can save and add to your photos.

Step 1:
Open a sample photo. Any of them will do. We will delete it in a minute.

Step 2:
Up next to the FotoFlexer logo, select the option to "Load Another Photo".

Step 3:
Add another sample photo. Any of them. {Sigh. Yes, again.}

Step 4:
Your screen should look like this now - with the light gray and white checkered border behind both images.

Step 5:
Under the "Layers" tab {second-to-last one on the right}, click on the third option to "Select All"

Click "Delete" on your keyboard. Both of the images are now gone and you are left with a gray & white checkered background. This means the background is transparent.

Step 6:
Under the "Decorate" tab {third one from the left}, select the "Text" tool.
A white box will pop up like in the image above. Type in your name or whatever words you want in the text box.

Step 7:
You will see a small window for "Text Options" on the right hand side of the screen. Make sure that the box next to "Transparent" is selected to have the background behind your text invisible. If you want some words in a different font or size, just add in more text boxes.

I would recommend choosing a font that fits your blog style/design. There are a lot of fonts to choose from, so I'm sure you will find something great! You don't need to worry about the text color or the background color options.

Click "Apply" when you're done.

Step 8:
If you want to add a little something else to go with your new logo/watermark design, there are some fun sticker designs to choose from. You can find these under "Decorate" and choose the "Sticker" tool. Color can be changed by clicking on the black box next to the "Color" option.

Step 9:
Once you have your design just how you want it, click save up at the top.
Make sure to choose the PNG format to keep the background behind your logo transparent.

• • • • • •

Adding an Image Watermark
Now it's time to add your new watermark to your photos!

Big thanks to Hippie Dog Company for being my guinea pig logo!
{If you'd like a custom watermark design, I am happy to help you design one for $10}

Step 1:
{You can create a login if you want to, but it's not required.}
Click on the "Upload Photo" icon {if loading image from your computer} or load your image from any of the locations on the bottom if you store them somewhere else.

Step 2:
Your image will now show in the main window.
Click on the "Layers" tab {second-to-last one on the right} and click the "Add Images" option.

Step 3:
A window will come up for you to upload an image.
Click the "Edit from My Computer" button to upload the watermark image you created earlier in this tutorial.

*If you have a custom logo, make sure it is a PNG file with a transparent background.

Step 4:
Resize your logo/watermark to fit to your photo by dragging one of the corners and holding down the shift key. You can also rotate your image by clicking on the arrow above the logo. You can make the logo as big or as small as you'd like.

Step 5:
Your logo doesn't have to stand out if you don't want it to. To have it blend in a little bit to your image, select the "Opacity" tool under the "Layers" tab. Move the slider towards 0 to make it more transparent, and towards 100 to make it more opaque. Click "Done" when you're finished. You can select the "Opacity" tool again if you decide to make any changes.

Step 6:
Sometimes a white logo won't work for a light colored photo. Easy to change!
Make sure your logo is selected. Under the "Effects" tab, select the "Invert" effect. This will change your logo from white to black, making it easier to see on lighter images.

Step 7:
When you're done editing, click "Save" up by the FotoFlexer logo. You can save this in JPG format since you won't need it to have a transparent background.

Step 8:
Save your new image.

Now you're on your way to better branding and a step closer to protecting your images!

Linking to these parties!

Pinteresting Features n' Shtuff #42



Since the 2012 Olympics are officially upon us, here are some *winning* pin-spirational projects I've added to my Pinterest boards this week:


{Source: Pin via Family Ever After....}

{Source: Pin via AliLily}

{Source: Pin via Toddler Approved!}

{Source: Pin via Sugar Bee Crafts}

{Source: Pin via Remarkably Domestic}

{Source: Pin via I Can Teach My Child}

See you next week for more Pinteresting Features n' Shtuff!

Follow Me on Pinterest
Follow my boards if you want. Or not.
You'll still find some pretty sweet things to pin.

 If you need an invite to Pinterest, comment or email me your email address & I'll get you addicted an invite!

Giveaway {CameraBag2} and Mini Tutorial

A big part of blogging is posting photos. Whether it's family photos, images of a project you created, or a step-by-step tutorial, you are sharing photos with the world. Thanks to Pinterest, your photos will be shared even faster! Why not try to make them look the best that they can?

I'm a graphic designer, so I own Photoshop and use it frequently to edit my blog photos and spend quite a bit of time each week editing/enhancing images. Unfortunately, not everyone has the cash to put down to own this software or maybe you don't own it because it seems a little bit intimidating just thinking about learning how to use the tools in Photoshop. I get a lot of questions asking how others can edit their images when they don't have the software. Now I can give a great and affordable recommendation: CameraBag2 from NeverCenter.

When CameraBag contacted me to try out their software, I was a little skeptical {I'll be honest!}, but interested in seeing how it compared to Photoshop. I was pleasantly surprised! CameraBag is compatible with both PC & Mac and extremely user-friendly. Anyone can easily learn to use it, and it's virtually impossible to "mess up" an image. I really liked all the filters available and you can customize the look of any image. If you're too overwhelmed and don't want to try to customize, there are already some "favorite" options that you can just select and be done! Editing photos can be easy and fast!

Here's a video preview of just a few of the things you can do with the CameraBag software:

The possibilities are endless. You can layer filters, add borders and I really love that you can manually enhance the photos as well. It gives you a little more creative freedom and I spent half the time on some of the images than it normally takes me to get a similar effect in Photoshop. Plus - $29 for a product like this is not that much to spend on software.

I realize I am sounding a little like an infomercial - I'm really trying not to! I'm just really excited about telling you guys about how fun this is! The only negative I have with this software is that there isn't any way to layer images or to add text to create a watermark.

Here's a mini tutorial I put together with screenshots of me playing with an image in CameraBag:
This is the original photo opened up. No effects or anything.
{The watermark was placed on the screenshot later through Photoshop}


Played with filters, contrast, shadows and added a vignette {darker corners}. I also chose the rounded corner border.

The filters are on the sidebar {in the "Styles" tab}. Mousing over one of the filters will show you a preview of your photo with that specific filter {shown in image above}. When you click a filter, it shows it in the tiles along the "bottom tray". Clicking on those tiles will allow you to edit the filter, hide the filter {to preview the image without it, but not deleting it}, and you also have the option of deleting one of the filters without having to start over completely.

The "Adjust" tab includes cropping, exposure, contrast, and color correction.

Borders tab... obvious. Lots of options without looking cheesy.

The "Favorites" tab is similar to the "styles" tab, but it does the adjustment work for you!
One click and you're done! {You can still make edits, add filters or delete tiles.}


I also thought the "Quicklooks" tab was pretty cool. After scrolling through some of the filters, I kind of forgot which ones I really liked. This option shows them all for you, side by side.

Done!
Easy to save and lets you choose the sizing of your file at the same time,
which is helpful when editing blog images!

Here's a few before & afters:
Used "Golden" filter {under Favorites}, adjusted shadows, and added the "Paper" border.

Used "Skater" filter, custom adjustments, and added black border.

Used "Vibrant Poolside" {under Favorites} and added a rounded corner border.

Now to the giveaway!

THREE lucky winners
will receive a free CameraBag2 license!


Good Luck!
The winner will be announced on {or around} August 4th.

**Disclosure: I received a free license to review from CameraBag2/NeverCenter as part of this giveaway. All opinions are my own.**

Pinteresting Features n' Shtuff #41



Here are some awesome pin-spirational projects I've added to my Pinterest boards this week:

{Source: Pin via Creative Itch}

{Source: Pin via Miss Kopy Kat}

{Source: Pin via One Charming Party}

{Source: Pin via Rob{i}nson}

{Source: Pin via Simply Food Love}

See you next week for more Pinteresting Features n' Shtuff!

Follow Me on Pinterest
Follow my boards if you want. Or not.
You'll still find some pretty sweet things to pin.

 If you need an invite to Pinterest, comment or email me your email address & I'll get you addicted an invite!

S'more Cookies

There's nothing better than s'mores in the summertime!
Or so they say... I'm not a fan of marshmallows {gasp!} so I will usually pass on a s'more.
 BUT - even if you aren't a fan of s'mores, these cookies are irresistible!

Not even kidding.

My two year old was sneaking them off the counter and hiding them in her play kitchen...
I am planning on making more in the near future {with no plans of sharing}.


S'more Cookies
{Recipe adapted from Lovin' from the Oven}

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs {I crushed about 4 pieces}
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 king-sized Hershey's chocolate bar {I used a "giant" 7 oz bar and had a little extra}
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme {not melted marshmallows}


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Grease a whoopie pie pan {you could even use a muffin tin} and set aside.
2. Crush 4-5 graham crackers in a Ziplock bag with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs.
3. Cream butter and sugars until light in color. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add in flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Mix well until you have a consistent dough.

4. Flatten out about a 1/2 inch ball of dough into each pan cavity.
Bring dough up the sides of the cavity {almost like a pie}.

5. Break chocolate bar apart and place one piece in each cookie
{you can add one more if you want more chocolate}

6. Place a small spoonful {maybe about 1 1/2 tablespoons?}
of marshmallow creme on top of each chocolate piece.

7. Take another small scoop of dough and flatten into a small circle.
Place over marshmallow creme and be sure to seal all the edges and cracks.

8. Bake for about 12 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
Makes about 12 cookies.

Like any s'more, they are best served warm.
Can be reheated for about 10 seconds in the microwave.


Linking to these parties!

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